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Poster: Mandojammer Date: Jun 7, 2012 6:05am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH (non-Dead, but PM Tell will dig it)


Retired Lieutenant Commander George Gay spoke at a leadership forum at the Naval Academy while I was a Midshipman there back in '80 or '81. As I type this, I am getting goosebumps remembering that speech....

"Personally, I was just lucky. I’ve never understood why I was the only one that came back, but it turned out that way, and I want to be sure that the men that didn’t come back get the credit for the work that they did. They followed Cmdr. Waldron without batting an eye and I don’t feel, like a lot of people have felt, that we made mistakes and that Cmdr. Waldron got us into trouble. I don’t feel that way at all. I know that if I had it all to do over again, even knowing that the odds were going to be like they were, knowing him like I did know him, I’d follow him again through exactly the same thing because I trusted him very well. We did things that he wanted us to do not because he was our boss, but because we felt that if we did the things he wanted us to do then it was the right thing to do.

I had to fly right over destroyers that were shooting at me. If I had machine guns forward and plenty of them, I’d have been able to give them a little trouble. Then as I got in close enough to drop my torpedo, I could see everything on the port side shooting at me. If I had had some machine guns to shoot back them, I might not have been able to silence those guns, but I could have made the gunners a little nervous. As it was, they were just sitting there shooting at me and I wasn’t shooting back at them. Then after I pulled up over the ship and did a flipper turn, I dove down right at the fantail of this big carrier where they were rearming and regassing the planes. Gas hoses were scattered all over the place out there, and I know they were full of gasoline. If I’d had forward guns, I could have set that ship afire right there myself."

LCDR Gay, sir, I salute you.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Jun 7, 2012 6:37am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH (non-Dead, but PM Tell will dig it)

Outstanding; was going to meniton Gay by name, but figured we'd be off and running down a WWII history thread for a LONG time...he figures in ALL the accounts. So cool you had that experience...thanks for sharing.